In February, ACLU-WV showed up in Washington, D.C. to demand protections for pregnant workers across the nation by advocating for passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (HR 2694). These brave and fierce West Virginia small business owners, advocates and activist moms visited all five of our congressional representatives' offices to share their stories and the stories of others to express the importance of these vital protections for pregnant folks in the workplace.
Too often, a pregnant worker who asks their employer for a temporary and reasonable job modification - like a break from lifting heavy boxes, a stool to sit on, or a schedule change - is fired, forced to quit, or put on unpaid leave. With many working people serving as the sole or primary breadwinner in their family, a pregnancy could mean loss of income or healthcare benefits at a time when it is most crucial, and the economic impact can be severe and long lasting.
Conversely, this could lead a pregnant worker to stay on the job despite being denied the needed modifications in an effort not to lose income. Doing so may put the pregnancy at risk. This is especially vital as our country faces the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here in West Virginia we are fortunate that we do have these protections in place, thanks to similar legislation that went into effect in 2014, but pregnant people across the nation remain unprotected. No one should have to choose between making a living and having a healthy pregnancy.
It's past time to pass this bipartisan legislation. Call your US Representatives today and tell them to protect the health, rights, and economic security of pregnant workers and ensure a more equitable workplace by voting YES on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2694) and voting NO on any motion to recommit.
David McKinley - (202) 225-4172
Alex Mooney - (202) 225-2711
Carol Miller - (202) 225-3452